Harbour Rail Is An Important Transport Corridor

The Vaasa region invests in the determined development of the entire logistics systems in order to improve the conditions for its export-oriented industries. This development effort respects the environmental ambitions of the European Union and aims at transporting more goods also by rail and sea.

The rail from downtown Vaasa to the harbour has not been regularly operated for years, and it was partly in a poor condition. The Finnish Transport Agency was, in fact, willing to close the rail or at least part of it last year. Luckily, the requirements of the local industries to use the docks and the rail made the Transport Agency think again; the broken switch was repaired and now the harbour rail is fully operational once again.

This railway section with seemingly little use and the only railway yard big enough in this region to load and unload large components and containers are an important part of the regional logistics puzzle. Big money is involved in large deliveries to and from the industries, and they provide employment opportunities in the region. It would be unbearable if the industry started losing their orders somewhere else because of shortcomings in our logistics, says Backman & Trummer’s CEO Hannu Uusi-Pohjola.

KOnttivaunuja 010

In January, two container trains were loaded with power plant components in the Vaasa harbour to be transported to Russia. There will be at least two more similar transports in the near future.

Use of Harbour Rail Is Developed

The railway section between the harbour and downtown Vaasa is an essential part of the comprehensive logistics solution. A couple of projects are currently looking into how to facilitate the use of the rail, for instance in multi-modal transports within industries.

Increasing logistics cooperation between Vaasa and Umeå has given rise to plans concerning the transport of freight from Vaasa to Umeå’s NLC Logistics Centre and further via the Swedish railway system to the big harbours in Southern Sweden. It would open up new freight opportunities both for the harbour and the harbour rail, says former harbour manager Teijo Seppelin, who will now focus more and more on harbour development.

Tammikuu -15 026

Teijo Seppelin is convinced that there will be more use for the rail corridor to the harbour in the near future.

The harbours of Vaasa and Umeå as well as their railway networks are also an essential part of the project Midway Alignment of the Bothnian Corridor which focuses on the development of an east-west transport corridor in Nordic cooperation with EU funding.

Even now the industries are using the docks to load large and heavy objects which are transported by rail to inland Finland or to Russia, for instance. In January, two container trains with power plant components have left the docks for Russia, and there is more to come in the near future. Vaskiluoto is the only loading place for rail freight for the industries in Vaasa and its surroundings, confirms Sakari Mäki-Fränti from Blomberg Stevedoring.

We were spared to see the harbour rail closed, and now it serves freigh transports better than ever. Even though freight transport by rail is demanding in Finland, the harbour rail will soon be facing new transport challenges.

The industries in the region are growing and require new and cost-efficient transport options. Despite the threats, there are clear signs of positive development in the use of the harbour rail, which is very important also for the progress of Midway Alignment, says VASEK’s logistics expert Riitta Björkenheim.

KOnttivaunuja 003

Text: Johanna Haveri

Photos: Teijo Seppelin and Johanna Haveri


11.01.2019 The new Kvarken ferry will be built in Raumo
12.07.2018 Kvarken Link AB has invited four shipyards to hand in their binding offers
15.02.2018 The Project Midway Alignment Is Going Ahead – Request for Information Sent to Potential Shipyards
19.04.2017 Work for the new Kvarken ferry runs smoothly
19.09.2016 Midway Alignment Honoured with the International Sail of Papenburg Award
03.06.2016 Further Development of the Strait Continues
18.04.2016 A Succesful First Year for Kvarken Ports 
16.02.2016 Flags Raised in Celebration of Cross-Border Collaboration
16.12.2015 End of the First Phase and Finalization of the New Application
16.12.2015 Collaboration Benefits the Development of Logistics
01.12.2015 Fun Facts About Midway Alignment´s Communication
25.11.2015 Cross-Border Collaboration to Attract Tourists
05.11.2015 Guided by Systems Thinking
28.10.2015 City of Vaasa and Umeå Municipality to establish a joint company – ”Midway Alignment Ab Oy”
30.09.2015 Pieces are Falling into Place
25.09.2015 Even a Global Company can be a Regional Actor
24.09.2015 Construction of an LNG Terminal in Vaasa is Explored
14.09.2015 The Timing of the EU Visit Is Just Right
09.09.2015 The Port Manager Has Several Irons in the Fire
26.06.2015 Hull ice tests completed at Aker Arctic’s laboratory in Helsinki
24.06.2015 Improving Space Utilisation in the Port of Vaasa
05.06.2015 Midway Alignment in brief
18.05.2015 First tests completed in the Hull Optimization Programme
05.05.2015 München Transport and Logistics Tuesday May 5th, 2015
05.05.2015 Railway to Port Could Serve as Special Transport Route
04.05.2015 Prepared for a successful exhibition!
16.04.2015 Ship Design is All About Optimization
10.04.2015 The completion of the new ferry’s preliminary design is an important milestone
07.04.2015 Preparation for the Second Phase of the Project Is the Key to Success
26.03.2015 The Baltic Trendsetters Club Certificates presented
24.03.2015 Midway Alignment and Kvarken Ports goes MÜNCHEN TRANSPORT LOGISTIC May 5-8, 2015
23.03.2015 New trends and sunny faces at EnergyWeek
04.03.2015 Wasaline's result positive before depreciation
29.01.2015 Cargo collaboration important for Wasaline
29.01.2015 Positive News: Growth from the North Report Published in Tromsø
29.01.2015 Wasaline Has Opened Spring Season
28.01.2015 Harbour Rail Is An Important Transport Corridor
16.01.2015 We have now launched Kvarken Ports - a joint company for the ports of Umeå in Sweden and Vaasa in Finland
02.01.2015 Now we have launched - Kvarken Ports
12.12.2014 An Eventful First Year
01.12.2014 Kvarken passenger service designed according to customers’ wishes and needs
18.11.2014 Visibility for Midway Alignment in Gothenburg
13.11.2014 Exports from the Port of Vaasa increasing
12.11.2014 The North Bothnia Line − Good news and effects also for Midway Alignment
11.11.2014 Viking Grace receives international environmental prize
03.11.2014 Kvarken Ports CEO: We are stronger together
08.10.2014 Stena Line-Wasaline cooperation
28.08.2014 Midway Alignment Is Gaining Momentum – The Concept Is Shaping Up
05.08.2014 Wärtsilä wins ship design contract for environmentally sound Gulf of Bothnia ferry
02.07.2014 Midway Alignment – Popular seminar at Almedalsveckan